Notification Content and Behavior

Content of incident notifications sent via email, SMS, phone call and push

PagerDuty users receive notifications related to incident response, on-call handoffs and test notifications during onboarding. Depending on your pricing plan’s features, users also receive notifications when someone adds them as a responder to an incident, when status updates publish, or when someone adds a conference bridge to an incident. PagerDuty sends notifications via the following channels:

Email Notifications

Source: [email protected]

PagerDuty Action

Subject Line

Body

A new incident is triggered and the user is on call

  • One incident assigned: “[PagerDuty Alert] You have 1 TRIGGERED Incident ([identifier])”
  • If multiple incidents are assigned to you, PagerDuty will bundle all incidents into one email: “[PagerDuty Alert] You have [#] TRIGGERED Incidents ([identifier])”
  • More information on notification bundling

“Hello [user], you have [#] open incidents assigned to you:

  • [incident number]
  • [incident title]
  • [View Incident button]
  • [conference bridge details] (if applicable)
  • [incident status]
  • [incident urgency]
  • [user(s)] assigned to the incident]
  • [trigger date and time]
  • [service]
  • [escalation policy associated with the service]
  • [email body]*

* This will be the same as the Details field in an incident.

The user has been added as a responder (brand new incident)

“PagerDuty response requested by [user]

[user] requested your response: Please help with [[incident number]] [incident description] [link to incident]

The user has been added as a responder (existing incident)

“PagerDuty response requested by [user]

[user] requested your response: [custom message] [link to incident]

Status Update to an incident that a user is assigned to or subscribed to

“[PagerDuty Status] [incident status]: [incident name]

"[user] updated incident "[incident title]"

Opened on [trigger date, time and time zone]

Updates:
[status update message]

Assigned to [user]
Service: [service]
Description: [description]
Link: [status update link]

The user is going on call for an escalation policy

"[PagerDuty] [user] is going on call for [escalation policy] ([escalation level] - [service])"

"[user] is going on call for the following escalation policy in [time period]:

Escalation Policy: [escalation policy] (used by [#] service)
[escalation level] ([service] - [rotation cadence])

[start and end dates and times] ([shift length])

Override here: [link to schedule]

Times in [time zone]


Manage my on-call:
[link to My On-Call Shifts page]

Unsubscribe:
[link to notification rules]

===

The user is going off call for an escalation policy

"[PagerDuty] [user] is going off call for [escalation policy] ([escalation level] - [service])"

"As of [date and time] (in [hours and minutes until shift]), [user] will no longer be on call for the following escalation policy:

Escalation Policy: [escalation policy] (used by [#] service)
[escalation level] - [service]

Times in [time zone]


Manage my on-call:
[link to My On-Call Shifts page]

Unsubscribe:
[link to notification rules]

===

  • A test notification generated during account onboarding.
  • A test notification generated by navigating to User Icon My Profile Contact Methods and clicking Test to the right of a configured email contact method.

"PagerDuty Test Notification for [company name]"

"Hi! This is a PagerDuty test notification. If there was an incident in your system, this email would contain information about the problem and a link back to PagerDuty. It might look something like this:

Incident #123
Service: Database
Description: Disk is 99% full!
Escalation Policy: Operations

If you're on a mobile device and would like to download our mobile app, click this link:
https://www.pagerduty.com/features/mobile-incident-management/"

Can I enable or disable rich-text / HTML email notifications?

Yes. For each email address you have configured within your Contact Information, you can choose to receive HTML emails. If this option is unselected, basic text email notifications will be sent. To change this email setting, click your User Icon My Profile Contact Information next to your email address edit checkboxes based on your preferences.

Here is an example of a PagerDuty text-only email notification:

17501750

Here is an example of a PagerDuty HTML email notification:

12541254

When you receive a PagerDuty email notification, the Details section of each incident will be truncated to 500 characters. You can include clickable links in this truncated message. The rest of the email body can be accessed in PagerDuty within the incident logs and details or via the mobile app.

Attachments are stripped from PagerDuty email notifications and also from the incident logs. To view the original attachment, you will want to refer to the system that sent out the original attachment.

SMS Notifications

Source: Variable numbers or short codes from the PagerDuty Vcard.

PagerDuty Action

Body

A new incident triggers and the user is on call

“ALRT [incident number] on [service name]: [incident title] Reply [#]: Ack, [#]: Resolv”

The user has been added as a responder (brand new incident)

“PagerDuty #[incident number]: Please help with "[[incident number]] [incident description]" Reply [#]: Accept, [#]: Decline”

The user has been added as a responder (existing incident)

“PagerDuty Alert. #[incident number] ([user]): [custom message] Reply [#]: Accept, [#]: Decline”

Status update to an incident that a user is assigned to or subscribed to

"[PagerDuty] [incident number]: [custom message]"

The user is going on call for an escalation policy

"Going on call on [date and time] for escalation policy [escalation policy] ([escalation level] - [service name] -[URL to schedule]"

The user is going off call for an escalation policy

"Going off call on [date and time] for escalation policy[escalation policy] ([escalation level] - [service name] -[URL to schedule]"

  • A test notification generated during account onboarding.
  • A test notification generated by navigating to User Icon My Profile Contact Methods and clicking Test to the right of a configured SMS contact method.

"Hi, this is a PagerDuty test notification! Respond to incidents quickly & easily when you are on-call: download our mobile app now! https://pagerduty.com/mobile"

All PagerDuty SMS notifications are truncated to meet the 160 character limit for text messages.

Here is an example of a PagerDuty SMS notification:

552552

If multiple incidents are assigned to you, then PagerDuty will bundle all notifications into 1 SMS notification, listing out the incident numbers and giving you the option to only ack all or resolve all incidents at once.

Phone Notifications

Source: Variable numbers from the PagerDuty Vcard.

PagerDuty Action

Recorded Phone Message

A new incident triggers and the user is on call

“You have [#] triggered incidents on [service name]. The failure is [incident title]. Press [#] to Acknowledge, Press [#] to Resolve, Press [#] to Escalate, Press [#] for help or Press * to repeat this message.”

The user has been added as a responder (brand new incident)

“PagerDuty Alert. [user] requested your response. Please help with [[incident number]] [incident description]. Press [#] to accept the request, Press [#] to decline the request"

The user has been added as a responder (existing incident)

“PagerDuty Alert. [user] requested your response. [custom message]. Press [#] to accept the request, Press [#] to decline the request”

Please read our article on Live Call Routing for more information on how Live Call Routing messages may be formatted.

Push Notifications

PagerDuty Action

Body

A new incident triggers and the user is on call

“ALRT [incident number] on [service name] [incident title]

The user has been added as a responder (brand new incident)

“PagerDuty [incident number] ([user]): Please help with "[[incident number]] [incident title]"

The user has been added as a responder (existing incident)

"[user] requested your response. [custom message]"

Status Update to an incident that a user is assigned to or subscribed to

"PD [incident number]: [custom message]"

The user is going on call for an escalation policy

"Going on call on [date and time] for escalation policy [escalation policy] ([escalation level] - [service name])"

The user is going off call for an escalation policy

"Going off call on [date and time] for escalation policy [escalation policy] ([escalation level] - [service name])"

Here is an example of a PagerDuty push notification:

10801080

Notification Bundling

Given that notification volume in some cases can increase to 100 notifications in a minute, we calibrate our policies to prevent alert fatigue. Notification bundling is the incident summary we switch to when multiple simultaneous incidents are triggered and assigned to a user. PagerDuty rolls together or bundles these multiple notifications into a single summarizing notification, regardless of your notification method (phone, SMS, email, or push). All incidents that are in the triggered state (i.e. not acknowledged or resolved) will be included in the bundled notification.

The following are examples of how each contact method will notify you, in the event of near-simultaneous incidents. For this example, assume 5 incidents have been triggered on a service named "Nagios-Shopping-Cart" within a 1-minute time frame.

Phone

You have 5 triggered incidents on Nagios-Shopping-Cart. Press 4 to acknowledge all incidents. Press 6 to resolve all incidents. Press 0 for help or press * to repeat this message.

SMS

ALRT: #100,#101,#102,#103,#104 on Nagios-Shopping-Cart. Reply 14:Ack all, 16:Resolv all

Email

You are assigned 5 triggered incidents in PagerDuty:
Please visit the following URL to manage these incidents.
https://fake-name.pagerduty.com/dashboard

1) Incident #100
   Opened on: Jan 1 at 12:00pm PST
   Service: Nagios-Shopping-Cart
   Description: Emergency in the server room
   Link: https://fake-service.pagerduty.com/i/100

Another way to minimize the number of notifications that you receive is to adjust your notification rules so that you are notified of an incident several minutes after it is assigned to you as opposed to immediately after it is assigned to you. Adjusting the notification rules will allow more time for incidents to aggregate and you will receive fewer notifications during a high volume period.

Responding to SMS and Phone Notifications

Responding to an SMS Notification

To reply to an SMS notification you will reply with the unique code that is provided. Here is an example:

750750

Responding to a Phone Notification

Please respond to a phone notification by replying with the number shared to:

  • Acknowledge
  • Resolve
  • Escalate — if there is another level in your escalation policy

Responding from the Mobile Site or the App

See Responding to Incidents in the Mobile App.

Responding to an Email Notification

At this time it is not possible to acknowledge or resolve an incident via email. To take action for the open incident you must use the PagerDuty site or mobile app, or respond via an SMS notification or phone call you receive as described below.


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